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NFL DFS Week 4 WOAT: DraftKings Weekly Ownership and Trends
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This will be a weekly series discussing DraftKings Weekly Ownership and Trends (WOAT) in Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments that we can use to better ourselves as DFS players. If pricing were perfectly efficient, some DFS players could beat GPPs on ownership alone. Vince Lombardi once said ownership isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

Shout out to my friends at The Fantasy Fanatics for access to their NFL Ownership tools which I leveraged for most of this analysis. You can access all ownership data in their premium tools.

Week 4 Look Back

You don’t need to read this article to know that last week was Julio Jones week. It wasn’t even half-time until you knew that you were probably going to need Julio to sniff the top 1% of GPPs. Sure enough, when Carolina maintained pace, Julio dropped 300 yards and a touchdown outscoring everybody on the fantasy year – including QBs!

Sharp Take: What you may not have noticed was that Julio went off at 16% ownership in the highest stakes GPPs including the $333 Wildcat and the $1500 Luxury Box. While this ownership still paled in comparison to Antonio Brown at 35%+, it was more than any other receiver above $7500 on DraftKings. Julio meanwhile was just 7-8% owned at lower stakes and found as low as 3% ownership in some single entry formats. While it was easy to think of the Carolina matchup as a tough one and see Julio’s poor box score from the week before, when the highest stakes players in fantasy are still investing in him you should take notice…[sociallocker]

While Antonio Brown was heavily owned, he wasn’t the highest owned. That belonged to Terrelle Pryor Sr., who was popular across all stakes on DraftKings coming in at $4300. It was worth noting to me that when he delivered at a cheap price tag in single digit ownership the week before, not only did he not see a strong uptick in price, but his ownership immediately quadrupled. There is a fine line between chasing points and chasing low priced salary, and it seems like ownership had to have factored into Pryor’s lack of a price bump the week before as he finds himself at $5800 a week later, which ironically is a week late to the path that Travis Benjamin has followed. Well just ask Travis how that worked out for him.

There weren’t a ton of other angles on individuals between the sharp and public as Bell, Howard, Hyde, Gordon and Johnson populated both groups of DFS players at the running back position. If anything, it is worth noting that the running back chalk delivered in a more consistent fashion than the wide receiver chalk and populated a heavier percentage of winning lineups. For the first time all year (that I can recall) we did see a QB creep above 20% in Cam Newton, driven both by the pricing value above, freeing up the requisite cap space.

Ownership – Key Stacks

With stacking being the most popular GPP strategy, the way people approach stacks is always interesting to me. What are the most popular stacks? Are there sharp and square stacks? Again, leveraging The Fantasy Fanatics we can take a look at in-depth granular ownership data on how people are approaching their stacks.

One big trend that I noticed this week was higher stakes regs deploying 3-man stacks. While I outlined this as a strategy in my premium article earlier this year, I have noticed an increase in popularity. Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen were 11% owned as a combination at high stakes last week compared to just 2.8% in the millionaire maker. Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder were 4.7% in high stakes compared to 1% in the millionaire maker. Despite his best effort, I failed to listen to Drew Dinkmeyer’s advice on Crowder and instead invested in a pretty chalky 3-man stack.

Other popular two-man stacks were Cam/Kelvin (18%), Cam/Olsen (18%), Stafford/Jones (9%), Flacco/Steve Smith (9%), and Cousins/Reed (6.5%). As for the nuts stack of Julio and Matt Ryan? That stack was owned at 3%, meaning only 20% of the people who paired up Julio also grabbed Matty Ice.

Deploying what we learned

Quarterback is diverse ownership, and with options at multiple price points, I don’t think we will see ownership creep up to Cam levels of last week. That said, I would expect to see Brady/Edelman stacks approach Cam/Kelvin levels. Wide receiver will be interesting. I don’t think there’s any chance you’ll be able to grab Odell Beckham Jr. at low ownership in higher stakes with his depressed price tag. It is conceivable that in some of the large field + smaller buy-in tournaments you could grab OBJ at 7-10%, particularly since AJ Green is just above. Ironically, despite his massive week, I don’t see Julio garnering much ownership. You’ll no longer get him at a discount and he faces the “No Fly Zone” defense, which gamers prefer to avoid, and they can grab Antonio Brown for just $200 more. Alshon Jeffery has been quiet and yet to register a touchdown (or even crack double digit targets), but he could make for an interesting GPP play versus the Colts.

The initial projections at DailyRoto like Melvin Gordon a lot. He’s been popular and he’s been rewarding DFS players, but it will be interesting to see who stays on for the ride. I imagine Gordon’s ownership will be a “sharp vs. square” divide. We will see his ownership lower at high stakes with the availability of Leveon Bell above and CJ Anderson just below. It seems reasonable to expect the running back chalk to be some combination of Jerick McKinnon, Jordan Howard and the triumvirate of Bell, Anderson and Gordon – especially with David Johnson locked in for Thursday contests. This should leave low owned pivots like Lesean McCoy, Todd Gurley, Lamar Miller, Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy as considerations for low owned tournament plays with multi-touchdown upside.


Tight end is another place to watch as both Zach Ertz and Zach Miller project as obvious values along with Kyle Rudoph and Hunter Henry (if Gates sits again). Rob Gronkowski has done nothing all season but did see his snap count increase to 70% last game. As outlined by Drew Dinkmeyer’s premium article last week, a rise in snap count can precede an increase in targets. While you are not getting any price discount on Gronkowski, you may get him at the lowest ownership of the season, and he could be a nice leverage play off of Edelman if the Patriots do return to a pass heavy attack.

Every NFL season there’s a week where things go completely haywire and blow up in everyone’s faces, the week of the rat. The week survivor pool’s get pounded and Vegas cleans up even more than usual. We’re now just far enough into the season that we think we know these teams so well, but no doubt some of it is a mirage and there is a week of the rat looming. Do your diligence, think for yourself, and when you see your edge don’t be afraid to pull the trigger.[/sociallocker]

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